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Social media best practices

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    Social media best practices Social media best practices Document Transcript

    • Saint-Gobain Social Media Policy and Best Practices – 2012 page 1/8 SAINT-GOBAIN GROUP SOCIAL MEDIA BEST PRACTICES Use of Social Media 1. INTRODUCTION 2. POLICY 3. BEST PRACTICES 4. COMPANY-SPONSORED SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY 5. COMPANY INTERNAL SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY GUIDELINES (“MY SAINT-GOBAIN”) “Social media -- such as internal social media (MY SAINT-GOBAIN), blogs and microblogs (e.g. Twitter), online social networks (e.g., Facebook), wikis and media sharing sites (e.g. YouTube) -- have become valuable forums for personal communication and increasingly important as vehicles for companies to connect with other Saint-Gobain employees, customers or other stakeholders. These are powerful communications tools with complex implications for both business and personal use. Therefore, Saint-Gobain has developed the following Best Practices designed to: • articulate the Company’s expectations regarding the use of social media by Saint-Gobain employees; • differentiate between “personal” use of social media and “official” use of social media as a Company-sponsored business activity; • confirm that only authorized Saint-Gobain employees can publish information regarding the Group and its companies. • provide guidance when using social media.” 1. INTRODUCTION This Best Practices apply to all Saint-Gobain employees. References to “Saint-Gobain” or “the Company” cover all Saint-Gobain brands, entities and business units. The Best Practices are not intended to constrain you from expressing personal views -- every employee is entitled to his or her own opinions. However, there are times when an employee’s personal views may be attributed to his or her employer, or perceived to bear special weight because of the individual’s position in the organization. This may have unintended and harmful effects on you, Saint-Gobain, its subsidiaries and brands, or on other employees. For this reason, the Company has crafted the following Best Practices to help you avoid causing damage to yourself, your coworkers and the Company.
    • Saint-Gobain Social Media Policy and Best Practices – 2012 page 2/8 Saint-Gobain reserves the right to modify, complete and/or replace the provisions of this Social Media Best Practices policy, at any time, the modification concerned taking effect upon its disclosure, by any appropriate means, to Employees. If any of these provisions of this Social Media Best Practices policy is to be held invalid or void, such provision is deemed unwritten and should not result in the invalidy of other provisions. 2. POLICY • Follow all Company Policies: All of Saint-Gobain’s policies regarding employees’ communications apply to comments about the Company or its employees, customers, suppliers or competitors made by an employee on social media. Specifically, be sure to always refer back to Saint-Gobain’s General Principles of Conduct and Action Guidelines. • Protect Confidentiality: Before you include any information about the Company in a posting on a social media platform, you must consider whether it may contain confidential or proprietary information. For guidance about what might constitute confidential information, please consult the Company’s Practical Guide to Competition Compliance. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Saint-Gobain, its business units, brands, employees, customers, suppliers or competitors In addition, be aware of situations in which you might be communicating unintentionally with competitors. These kinds of communications could be misinterpreted by a third party and thereby expose you and/or Saint-Gobain to significant legal risk. In particular avoid any kind of discussion about price, our pricing policies or plans. Some customers may be tempted to ask sales representatives (or other employees) questions about pricing in a social media setting. For example, a customer may ask a question on your Facebook wall. Instead of responding in this public arena, send an email or contact the customer via telephone. Pricing information is proprietary and public discussion would be a violation of the Company’s policy. Again, please refer to the Practical Guide to Competition Compliance. • Separate the Personal from the Professional: While you and some of your readers may consider your personal postings in social media as an expression of personal views, other readers may interpret comments made by an employee as statements that are endorsed, instigated or sponsored by the Company. If you feel compelled to express views about the Company, its products, its businesses, other employees, or any Saint-Gobain customer, supplier or competitor in a personal posting, you should make it clear that the views you are expressing are your personal opinions and not those of the Company. • Protect Company Intellectual Property: It is not appropriate for an employee to use a logo, design or stylized trademark or copyrighted material in a personal posting unless the use is expressly permitted in writing by the Company. • Be Aware of the Rules for Company-Sponsored Media Activities: Communications in social media, such as marketing activities or Company-sponsored outreach to online communities, must comply with Saint-Gobain policies and procedures for such business activities. For example, it is not appropriate for an employee to create a Facebook group or Twitter account related to Saint-Gobain without the express written permission of the Company. These kinds of online activities are reserved for use by the appropriate Marketing or Communications function of a business unit.
    • Saint-Gobain Social Media Policy and Best Practices – 2012 page 3/8 • Respect Company Time and Property: Saint-Gobain computers and time on the job are reserved for Company-related business. Your own business unit may have specific additional rules in this regard. • Media inquiries: If you receive questions or comments from the press as a result of a social media posting (whether personal or business use) please direct the reporter to the appropriate business unit Communications department or to Saint-Gobain Corporate Communications. • Avoid commenting on legal matters: Never post or comment on anything related to legal matters, litigation or any parties with which the Company may be in litigation. • Avoid anti-Company campaigns: You may come across situations where others, for whatever reason, are attempting to communicate negative perceptions of Saint-Gobain in social media settings Please do not disparage or be disloyal to Saint-Gobain. You may elect not to respond at all to those communications. The Company also encourages you to report any such situations to Saint-Gobain Corporate Communications. • Crisis: Never participate in social media when the topic being discussed may be considered a crisis situation involving the Company. Even “anonymous” postings can be traced back to your or the Company’s IP address. If you are unsure about posting something or responding to a comment, ask your supervisor for input or contact the appropriate business unit Communications department or Saint-Gobain Corporate Communications. • Use of Social Media in Recruiting: Social media sites offer access to a wide-range of talented potential employees and can be a useful source for Saint-Gobain recruiters. However, some sites – such as Facebook – may provide personal information about an employee prospect such as race, religion, age, sexual orientation, etc. Due to ethical and legal issues related to privacy, Saint-Gobain recruiters, or outside recruiters working on behalf of Saint-Gobain, must not conduct a search of this nature without gaining prior express permission from the employee prospect. Accessing information of this nature during the hiring process can subject the Company to claims of discrimination. Please contact your Human Resources representative should you have any questions about the use of social media to evaluate candidates. • Recommendations: It is the Company’s policy not to release any information relative to an employee’s performance or termination with the Company other than the dates of employment. Only Human Resources, or its designee, are authorized to release this information. Writing a recommendation for a Saint-Gobain colleague or employee on a social media site is therefore against Company policy. Please contact your Human Resources representative for further guidance or if you have any questions about writing recommendations. 3. BEST PRACTICES • Be Transparent: In some circumstances, it is virtually impossible to establish a credible separation between statements intended to express a personal opinion and your identity as an employee of Saint-Gobain. For example, a “personal” blog by a Saint-Gobain brand manager that promotes the product he or she manages is highly likely to be viewed as sponsored by the Company. You should always use common sense and good judgment in
    • Saint-Gobain Social Media Policy and Best Practices – 2012 page 4/8 making statements that may be perceived by readers as related to your job or part of your regular job function. • Think twice before posting: Privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Consider what could happen if a post becomes widely known and how that may reflect on you and the Company, or how it might affect your relationships with co-workers or supervisors. Search engines can turn up posts years after they are created, and comments can be forwarded or copied. If you wouldn't say it in public setting, consider whether you should post it online. Be aware too that information you publish often cannot be edited or removed. If you are unsure about posting something or responding to a comment, ask your supervisor for input or contact to the appropriate business unit Communications department or Saint-Gobain Corporate Communications. • Strive for accuracy: Get the facts straight before posting them on social media. Review content for grammatical and spelling errors. • Be respectful: Understand that content contributed to a social media site could encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully in light of how they would reflect on the poster. • Keep it brief: Ideally, posts should be brief. When relevant, redirect a visitor to content that resides on the business unit or Saint-Gobain website/blog. • Keep it in good taste: Posts on social media sites should remain professional in tone and in good taste. • Create a dialogue: Social media is best when it’s used to create a two-way dialogue with audiences. Be creative in seeking ways to post content in a manner that engages audiences and fosters a sense of community. • Don’t Engage in Online Fights: If you see information that misrepresents Saint-Gobain, you may certainly point out an error; however, always do so with respect, stick to the facts, and identify your appropriate affiliation with the Company. If you speak about a competitor, you must make sure that what you say is factual and is not disparaging. Avoid unnecessary or unproductive arguments. When disagreeing with others, keep it appropriate and polite. If you find yourself in a situation online that looks as if it’s becoming antagonistic, do not get overly defensive and do not disengage from the conversation abruptly: feel free to contact your supervisor, appropriate business unit Communications department or Saint-Gobain Corporate Communications for guidance/advice. • Be aware of the social implications of “friending”: “Friending” is the means by which people connect on social media sites such as Facebook. Being “friends” typically offers access to personal information based on the postings and profile on the site. There are some complexities about the "relationships" side of social media especially in the realm of supervisor/employee relations but also in relation with customers, partners, providers or competitors. Think twice before “friending” a superior or subordinate. A subordinate may feel pressured to accept your “friend” request, and conversely a superior may feel hurt if their “friend” request is denied. This may create an uncomfortable situation, and it may also, if taken to extremes, be perceived as harassment.
    • Saint-Gobain Social Media Policy and Best Practices – 2012 page 5/8 Please contact your Human Resources representative if you have any questions. • Know your Legal Obligations: You should be aware that statements made in personal postings in social media may give rise to legal liabilities which could vary from one country to another. For example, you may be held liable for material that is found to be defamatory or harassing, or to violate rights of privacy or laws related to financial disclosure. You may also incur legal liability for personal postings that include confidential information or copyrighted materials of third parties including music, videos, text, etc. Be aware and adhere to the social media site’s terms of use. • Check on regular basis privacy settings: Many websites (even Facebook) change their privacy settings on a regular basis due to new law cases or because of their business model. You should check on a regular basis the information you made publicly available on such websites and social networks. • Internet is not a private area; it has never been and will never be. Even if the website you are posting on claims to be “private” anyone viewing the content of your comments may copy/paste it everywhere else. As a privacy standard, you may double check everything you are about to post on the Internet with this rule: Could I say that out loud on a restaurant? If the answer is yes, then your comment is probably safe for your reputation and the company’s one. General Posting Best Practices • Write in the first person. • Participate. Contribute and offer comments, even if your ideas are not fully formed. Your ideas could stimulate the thinking of someone else. • Participation can be scary. Be brave, and be tolerant of others. Encourage others to participate, and give praise and support to others when due. • Seek to answer the questions of others even if you think someone else could answer the question better. A good answer on-time is better than a great answer that arrives too late. • Protect your credibility. Correct your mistakes, and don't alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so. • Avoid deletions whenever possible, except in cases of clear vandalism. • Be civil and respect your audience. Lively discussions are always encouraged, but never resort to insults, slurs, or obscene language. • Keep in mind that plain text is ambiguous and often seems harsher than the same words when spoken. Write clearly. Avoid irony. Use emoticons when appropriate. And seek to understand what the author intended before replying. • Recognize your own biases and keep them in check. • We will have differences of opinion, which is healthy. Don’t let these discussions turn into arguments. Discuss facts, not personalities. Defend your position when appropriate. Concede a point when appropriate. Or simply agree to disagree. Summarize resolved disputes that you initiated. Don’t hold a grudge. • Help mediate disagreements between others. • Be prepared to apologize. In animated discussions, we often say things we later wish we hadn't. Say so.
    • Saint-Gobain Social Media Policy and Best Practices – 2012 page 6/8 4. COMPANY-SPONSORED SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY GUIDELINES Saint-Gobain supports the use of social media as a business tool to enhance our brands, engage in a dialogue with customers and create a sense of community with our stakeholders. We encourage the use of social media specifically in relation to marketing activities and Company-sponsored outreach to online communities. These guidelines should be followed by all Saint-Gobain businesses engaged in social media as part of their marketing strategy. • Have a plan: Ensure you have the relevant approvals before using social media. Contact your Marketing or Communications department before implementing any social media tactics. Businesses should consider their messages, audiences and goals, as well as strategy for keeping information on social media sites up-to-date and monitored. • Analyze before you act: Internet communities usually work as inter-connected entities. You should know who are the main influencers of the community you are targeting and which websites are on your side and against you. Setting up a regular (at least weekly) monitoring on these websites is the most important precaution you should take before launching a social media plan. • Protect Saint-Gobain’s voice: No individual Saint-Gobain business unit should construe its social media site as representing the Company as a whole. Consider this when naming pages, accounts, selecting a profile picture or icon, and selecting content to post. • Let’s act as a team: We request that your Marketing or Communications department make Saint-Gobain Corporate Communications aware of all new social media ventures before they are launched. Whenever possible, please create some means for linking your site/feed to Saint-Gobain’s website (www.saint-gobain.com) and social media ventures (www.facebook.com/saintgobaingroup and www.youtube.com/saintgobaintv). Saint-Gobain will cross-promote in return, when possible. • Set some ground rules for participants in your social media venture: To ensure you manage your social media site(s) appropriately, set policies for participation. Please contact Saint-Gobain Corporate Communications for guidance if needed. • Company-sponsored social media is not intended to promote self-interests: Do not promote personal projects or endorse other brands, causes or opinions. 5. COMPANY INTERNAL SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY GUIDELINES (MY SAINT-GOBAIN) Saint-Gobain supports the use of the enterprise social collaboration solution called “My Saint-Gobain” (http://my.saint-gobain.com) in order to facilitate collaboration between Saint-Gobain employees. The terms and conditions of use of “My Saint-Gobain” are available on http://my.saint-gobain.com “My Saint-Gobain” is deployed as a pilot in the Saint-Gobain Group to provide a secure and common platform to exchange and collaborate internally, across locations, business units, functions, and time zones within the Group.
    • Saint-Gobain Social Media Policy and Best Practices – 2012 page 7/8 Saint-Gobain recommends using this secure solution instead of sharing externally on social media sites whenever possible. The benefits of this tool have been demonstrated in Saint-Gobain’s day-to-day activities: over the last year there have been numerous cases when employees saved time by accessing information previously unavailable to them, improved product quality by sharing experiences, and increased innovation by pooling the collective wisdom of the business. Saint-Gobain is not using this tool for control or evaluation of employees. It is an internal collaborative solution available for Saint-Gobain employees who wish to use it, if they find it relevant for knowledge sharing purposes as well as communication inside the Group. Glossary • Administrator: the “administrator” of a webpage or a web platform is the person with the ability to modify the options and functionalities of the page or the platform. Usually, the administrator is by default, the first creator of the page. • “Brandjacking”: The unauthorized, unlicensed use of a brand name or other trademark. (e.g., A Web domain pointing to a Web site that isn’t owned by the trademark holder or an online user name that is not associated with the trademark holder.) Every brand should at least reserve its brand name on every social media platform to avoid brandjacking. • Detractor: Internet User(s) who criticize or disparage publicly the brand or the Group’s online presence, products or corporate policies. • Illegal content: The definition of illegal content varies from country to country as is relies on national legislation. The most common types are any written material or image which incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals. • Influencer: An influencer is a user who managed to have a very large audience within one or several social media platforms. Influencers are usually harder to seduce and convince, as they are used to being the target of viral marketing operations from brands. • Micro-blogging: Micro-blogging platforms are platforms allowing users to interact publicly or privately via very short messages. Twitter is currently the most well- known microblogging platform. • Moderation rules: moderation rules are the set of rules used to frame the discussions or contributions notably on a web page or platform. Every social media platform has a set of moderation rules (see Facebook’s moderation rules for instance: http://www.facebook.com/terms.php). But in order to create a safer discussion environment, an administrator needs to specify his own rules in addition to the general rules of the platform. • Platform: A web platform is the term used for a website which provides a specific service to its users. Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are considered as platforms.
    • Saint-Gobain Social Media Policy and Best Practices – 2012 page 8/8 • Post (verb): An Internet post is the action of writing and sending a message to a web platform (e.g. a blog post). The verb “to post” is the action of sending the message. • Redirect (verb): A redirection is the action of providing an internet link to another page. The redirection is often used to provide more information to a user. • Social Media: Social Media platforms are websites allowing users to create content and interact directly or indirectly together. Blogs, social networks like Facebook, Youtube, and even forums are all considered social media. The main characteristic of a social media platform is the lack of preexisting hierarchy. All users have the same status initially, and will progressively acquire expertise or authority through peer recognition. Those users are most likely to become “influencers” because of their recognized level of expertise or followership. • Viral: information is “viral” on the internet when it spreads very quickly among users. A viral information is very hard to follow but will appear on every social media platform within a few hours. Content usually become viral when i) content is either funny, shocking or newsworthy ii) gets traction from influencers or a community of interest iii) leverages social media channels to garner visibility and momentum. • Wall: the wall is the main discussion place on Facebook. It is the default tab of every section of the platform (profiles, pages, groups, etc.) and is usually the preferred target of detractors. Information published on the Wall by the Page administrator will appear in the newsfeed of subscribers (fans) in their personal newsfeed. Key social Media guidelines: • Internet is a public place: your first concern should be information confidentiality while posting on the Internet. • Internet is an anonymous place: even meaningless information about Saint Gobain’s business and/or strategy could be used against the Group. You never know who you are talking to. • Internet is a connected place: each content sent to the Internet may be linked to other websites, preventing you to control it after its publication. • Internet is not an instantaneous place: every content sent to the Internet may be found months or years later, think of the possible consequences when you want to publish something. • Internet is not above the law: every content provider on the Internet is lawfully responsible for every posted content.